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TGt Meets... Beckie Hyson
What does it take to start a successful events business? We spoke to local businesswoman Beckie Hyson about her company, The Events Raccoon.
Who are you, and what does The Events Raccoon do?
I’m Beckie, I’m a vicar's daughter who grew up in Essex (save the jokes) and I own The Events Raccoon. Nothing to do with animal welfair, The Events Raccoon is a unique Event Management Agency providing a personal, dedicated and bespoke full-service event solution. What does that mean? We support our customers to deliver an epic event with the experience gained from a corporate company and the creativity of a small agency.
Describe your business in three words.
Loyal, Trusted, Fun.
How long have you been in the industry?
Over 10 years now. I started working in a local hotel before joining a small agency that was then acquired and run as a much larger corporate company.
What made you want to start up on your own?
I was actually sat on a beach during 3 months travelling and I thought to myself – I want to do more of this, this makes me feel like I’m actually living! I’d had a great career working for a small agency and in turn, one of the largest travel management companies doing roles that included running events, account management and finding and converting new business and I thought to myself – why not! I have the skill set to fill a niche in the market.
What’s the most enjoyable aspect of being a business owner?
The same bits as the scariest aspect of being a business owner if I’m really honest! You make your own choices and right or wrong, you live by them. The business reacts as you grow, your clients evolve as your ambitions do and if you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, you simply run through in your head what that day will look like to give you energy and ensure you make a difference.
What advice would you give someone who wanted to start working for themselves?
Do it! Don’t over think it! That is not to be confused with bad planning but ask yourself, if it was to all come to an end would you be proud that you gave it a shot? The planning really is key though, I had a 10-hour flight home from travelling and by the time I landed I was on V3 on my Business Plan! I look at it weekly to remember what made me start this all. It can be very easy to get lost, especially in the first few months, and I’m sure years, so a solid BP kept me focused, gave me direction and became the breadcrumbs that I have followed.
Your 2 o’clock meeting is cancelled, meaning you’ve got a few hours spare in Swindon – what do you do?
I’m sure I should say something like "head back to the office and get ahead of myself for tomorrow" but honestly? I’d probably chuck on my walking boots and head for Coate Water if the sun was shining.
How do you like to spend your time off?
I love to travel so any chance I get to go away with the boyfriend I do, even if it’s a weekend away somewhere. Although, he spends his life on building sites so is always excited to stay in a nice hotel where sometimes I love the thought of a good old camping weekend for a change from hotels.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
Gosh there has been so many, I’ve been so lucky! I’ve run events across the world for some of the best known brands, I was recognized as one of the top 30 industry players under the age of 35 and yet I have to say, when I got the Company Incorporation Certificate last year it made me cry. It took me a good few days to come down from the roof and I genuinely still pinch myself now knowing that I run my own business. I meet some incredible people on a daily basis and it always reminds me what a great industry I work in.
Why is Swindon a good place to do business?
Where do I start? The transport links, the variety of venues to use, having the Cotswolds right on your door step. The endless number of awesome companies that call Swindon a home and the brilliant history that slaps you in the face if you just take long enough to stand still and see it.
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